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Villa game a 'must-win' for King Kenny, says Lawrenson

Former Ireland international says the club’s big-money signings haven’t delivered for the manager.

Kenny Dalglish: under pressure.
Kenny Dalglish: under pressure.
Image: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

MARK LAWRENSON SAYS Liverpool’s next game — a Premier League clash with Aston Villa — is a ‘must-win’  match for under-pressure manager Kenny Dalglish.

The Reds again lost yesterday, going down 2-0 to Newcastle on Tyneside.

Big money striker Andy Carroll stormed down the tunnel, cursing to himself, after Dalgish replaced him on his first return to St James’ Park in red.

Later, Pepe Reina was sent off for an apparent head butt and the manager was told to return to his technical area by skipper Steven Gerrard during the subsequent chaotic scenes on the pitch.

But Dalglish’s former team-mate Lawrenson reckons the coach will ‘be fine’.

“I think one or two people are (mentioning him being sacked), because as a manager in the Premier League it’s a crisis if you lose a couple of games,” the former Ireland international told BBC Radio 5 Live earlier.

“They have Villa at home at the weekend and I hate saying it’s a must-win, but it is. We live in an instant media world, but I think the Liverpool owners are in it for the end game. I think he (Dalglish) will be fine, but at any level, you have to win games.

“I really don’t believe he will be sacked.”

Misfits

Lawrenson who was part of the glory days at Anfield in the 1980s admitted that the club have bigger problems than the man on the bench.

“Another problem at Liverpool is the stadium. It’s really difficult to know where they’re going to go,” he added.  ”Until they get into the Champions League places they can’t attract Champions League players, but how do they get there? Pay stupid money?

“They’re trying to play catch-up with other clubs. Anfield is full at 40,000 every week, but other clubs, Arsenal get 60,000, Manchester United 75,000, and then you have Manchester City and Chelsea.

“I think people know what Kenny is trying to do. The biggest problem is, Adam, Downing, Carroll and Henderson between them have contributed six league goals. You should be looking at 25-30 goals between them.

“Adam hasn’t done it but the four of them haven’t. Andy Carroll hasn’t been the same player. It’s the old ‘take the boy out of Newcastle’. He’s not been the same. I think when he took his shirt off it was out of frustration.”

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